IAR, TAAT introduce modern irrigation technology for wheat farmers
The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, in collaboration with the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation-Water Enabler Compact (TAAT), has introduced a modern irrigation technology for wheat farmers in Kano State.
Prof. Henry Igbadun, the TAAT Coordinator and Leader of the Irrigation Research Programme, said on Tuesday during a field work at Alkamawa community in Bunkure Local Government Area of Kano State that the project was sponsored by African Development Bank (AfDB).
Igbadun said that the introduction of the modern irrigation method was necessary to reduce the long processes followed by farmers and also reduce the cost of production.
According to him, the old method of conveying water is not only tedious, but takes long time to irrigate the fields, more hours of running the irrigation pumps, high water conveyance losses and inundation of fields.He said that the new pipe conveyance and distribution technology was, therefore, appropriate to overcome the challenges “because it saves time of irrigation, which in turn, reduces the amount of fuel used to power the centrifugal pumps.
“The technology also makes irrigation appealing to farmers and young ones. If all other inputs are used judiciously on the field, the technology has the potential to bring about increase in yields.”The coordinator explained that the technology would also help wheat farmers to save the irrigation fields from deterioration, occasioned by field inundation or wild flooding.
On possible challenges, the professor said: “the obvious challenge in adopting this technology by small-scale farmers is the initial investment cost, particularly the cost of the conveyance pipes.
“However, when this technology is properly managed, the ease of use and reduction in drudgery and eventual increase in yield can offset the initial cost.” According to Igbadun, the research institute and the TAAT had also embarked on a similar demonstration in Kadawa, a community in Kura Local Government, and in Minjibir Local Government Area of the state.
He explained that the newly introduced wheat irrigation technology could also be applied in maize and sorghum farming.The Chairman of Wheat Farmers Association in Alkamawa community, Alhaji Sabiu Abdullahi-Alkamawa, commended the institute and pledged to mobilise members to adopt the method.